Found in the north-eastern corner of Australia, Queensland is a big Aussie state with a big appetite for adventure. From the sprawling Great Barrier Reef to the silica sands of the Whitsunday Islands, there’s a lot of ground you could cover on a Queensland holiday. (Literally.)
For anyone planning a trip, I’ve narrowed down 5 boast-worthy bucket list experiences you should consider adding to your Queensland itinerary. From natural wonders to gourmet pleasures, here are 5 things you won’t want to miss when visiting Queensland.
This post has been written in conjunction with Australia holiday experts Flight Centre.
Top 5 things to do in Queensland
Sail the Whitsunday Islands
No Queensland bucket list is complete without a visit to one of the world’s best beaches. The sand on Whitehaven Beach is some of the purest silica sand in the world – it’s so bright it dazzles and so soft it squeaks when you walk on it!
All 74 of the Whitsunday Islands are equally stunning and the best way to explore their unspoiled beaches and teeming waters are on a sailing trip, most of which leave from Airlie Beach. If boats aren’t your thing, consider basing yourself in a luxury villa on Hamilton Island, which has its own airport and offers a shorter boat transfer to Whitehaven Beach.
You could also go all out (we are talking bucket lists after all) and take a scenic seaplane or helicopter flight over the Whitsundays – trust me, those colours are even more sensational from the sky.
Sleep on the Great Barrier Reef
Queensland is also home to the world’s largest coral reef system. Stretching along the Queensland coast for over 2000KMs, the Great Barrier Reef is home to thousands of species of fish, coral and marine life and is recognised as one of the world’s greatest natural wonders. (They don’t call it the ‘Great’ Barrier Reef for nothing!)
Most visitors to Queensland will make sure they spend at least 1 day snorkelling or diving the Great Barrier Reef but if you really want to see the reef at its best my recommendation is that you sleep on it. (Yes, really.)
Reef Sleep is a unique excursion offered by Cruise Whitsundays, whereby you can sleep overnight in a swag on their pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef and be in the water way before the first tourist boat leaves the mainland.
Seeing the reef come to life in the morning, as schools of fish and inquisitive sea turtles get right up to your snorkel, is truly an unforgettable experience.
Camp on Fraser Island
Ever fancied camping on the world’s largest sand island? What if I said you could drive a 4WD straight onto that island and choose a scenic spot anywhere on it to set up camp in?
Fraser Island, off the coast of Hervey Bay, is the ultimate island for thrill-seekers visiting Queensland. Aside from driving the sandy highway of Seventy-Five Mile Beach there are sand tracks into the interior of the island where you’ll find beautiful natural attractions like bottle-green Lake McKenzie, which has pure, white silica sand all around it.
Photography lovers will want to stop and snap the Maheno shipwreck, whilst nature lovers can keep an eye out for migrating whales or Australia’s purest breed of dingoes who roam the island.
Sample the local cuisine
It’s not just the natural beauty of Queensland that attracts visitors but its natural produce is pretty alluring too. For any foodie visiting Queensland there are a couple of restaurants and dining experiences that should feature on your bucket list – including tucking into the ‘Sunshine State’s’ juicy mangoes, enjoying a hipster brunch in Brisbane, and sampling a tipple or two of the region’s famous run at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery.
To really get a taste of the region, time your visit for May when the Noosa Food and Wine Festival brings together some of Australia’s leading chefs and restaurants, and the finest Queensland produce.
Zipline through the Daintree Rainforest
Another of Queensland’s boast-worthy natural wonders is the Daintree Rainforest, a UNESCO protected rainforest in the north of the state which, at 165 million years old, is the oldest continually surviving rainforest in the world.
There are a whole host of experiences you can enjoy in the Daintree, from hiking or biking the ancient landscape to cruising Cooper Creek in search of saltwater crocodiles. For the real adventurous spirits, sign up to ‘Jungle Surfing’ and swing, zip and scream your way through a guided zipline experience and the world’s first Human Hamster Wheel cable lift.
Find out more about when to visit Queensland.